This post is prompted by Pauline's remarks on her experiences of injuries sustained in the practice of the martial arts (see the comments section of the previous post).

A couple or so weeks into my return to martial arts (after a roughly twenty-two year hiatus), I partially ruptured my Achilles tendon - the result of a nasty assault by gravity. It was entirely my fault. I was showing off while sparring, trying to do an 'Ali shuffle' - something with which the twenty-something me had little trouble but the forty-something me apparently can't do without 'ramifications'. I was back at the dojo about a week later, but it prevented me running for just over a month. Hugo, my GSD, and running companion, was not impressed.

A couple of months later, turf toe - again my fault, didn't pull my toes back enough when executing a front snap kick (again, while sparring). Turf toe sounds like nothing, but is surprisingly annoying. Back running, rather gingerly and with heavy straping, about four days later. Eight months later, it's still not right.

Hyperextended elbow (probably) - not sure how I did that, although history suggests it was (a) done during sparring, and (b) my fault. Surprisingly tenacious - although I suspect that, after about three months, it's starting to get better.

My fingers, it goes without saying, are all in pieces.

So, it is a strange little puzzle: why do I enjoy this so much?

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